After being caught hiding the truth from the American people, the FBI has just “reopened” our FOIA case.
The ACLJ just received a letter from the FBI bureaucracy informing us that it has “reopened” our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into the clandestine meeting between former Obama Attorney General Lynch and former President Clinton while the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI were conducting a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton.
The FBI’s letter – dated one week after we publicly excoriated the FBI for lying to us when the Comey-led FBI told us last October that it had “no” records responsive to our request – now states that “records potentially responsive to your request may exist.”
It is unbelievable that the FBI bureaucracy still only admits that some documents “may exist.”
We know they exist. As we explained more than a week ago, here are several FBI documents we already know the then Comey-led FBI was hiding from the public:
The documents we received . . . from the Department of Justice include several emails from the FBI to DOJ officials concerning the meeting. One with the subject line “FLAG” was correspondence between FBI officials (Richard Quinn, FBI Media/Investigative Publicity, and Michael Kortan) and DOJ officials concerning “flag[ing] a story . . . about a casual, unscheduled meeting between former president Bill Clinton and the AG.” The DOJ official instructs the FBI to “let me know if you get any questions about this” and provides “[o]ur talkers [DOJ talking points] on this”. The talking points, however are redacted.
Another email to the FBI contains the subject line “security details coordinate between Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton?”
On July 1, 2016 – just days before our FOIA request – a DOJ email chain under the subject line, “FBI just called,” indicates that the “FBI . . . is looking for guidance” in responding to media inquiries about news reports that the FBI had prevented the press from taking pictures of the Clinton Lynch meeting. The discussion then went off email to several phone calls (of which we are not able to obtain records). An hour later, Carolyn Pokomy of the Office of the Attorney General stated, “I will let Rybicki know.” Jim Rybicki was the Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to FBI Director Jim Comey. The information that was to be provided to Rybicki is redacted.
Also of note several of the documents contain redactions that are requested “per FBI.”
What else was the FBI hiding?
While we appreciate that the FBI has “reopened” the case file and is now “searching” for documents responsive to our duly submitted FOIA request from more than a year ago, it stretches the bounds of credulity to suggest that the FBI bureaucracy just discovered that “potentially responsive” records “may exist” on its own accord.
We will press on in our legal fight to ensure that the details of the secret Clinton-Lynch meeting and the subsequent cover-up and withholding of information from the public comes to light. We will continue to legally hold the FBI’s feet to the fire and demand an expeditious and thorough search for all documents responsive to our request. We know they exist, and we’re willing to go to court to get them if necessary.
We have already turned over all documents that we have received on this matter to the Senate Judiciary Committee which is conducting its own investigation.
We will continue to press forward with our own investigation and are preparing to go back to federal court to get the full, unredacted documents from the DOJ. We will continue to keep you updated as this case progresses.
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Earlier this week, the ACLJ filed suit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for failing to respond to the ACLJ’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request as required by law. The ACLJ issued its first FOIA request on this issue to the FBI in July 2016. The request seeks all records...
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